Weekend Roundtable: What Would You Like for Christmas?

Have you been naughty or nice this year? Perhaps a bit of both? Since this is going to be our last Roundtable before the holiday, let’s just come right out and ask: What do you want for Christmas?

Here are the staff wish lists:

Dick Ward

My Christmas list is short this year. I want a gaming headset for my new PC, a wireless keyboard for my HTPC, and comfy slippers. But there’s also one more thing I want that’s not going to get to any list, because it’s just too hard to find and too much to buy. That thing is an Olly Moss ‘Die Hard’ print. I’ve been in love with it ever since I laid eyes on it. I do own a few pieces of Olly’s work that he made for the podcast ‘A Life Well Wasted‘, but the ‘Die Hard’ print is my absolute favorite, along with the brilliantly subtle ‘Godfather II’ print. The ‘Die Hard’ print tends to go for $200-$300 if it hits eBay, so this is going to have to be one of those gifts I get for myself. So Bonus View readers, if you want to do something nice this holiday season, just don’t bid against me!

Junie Ray

I just had a birthday, and my man gave me a 32″ Sony Bravia LCD TV which is now my computer monitor/Wii screen. I also got the ‘Just Dance!’ videogame for the Wii. (Yes, I’m very spoiled.) So I’m not looking for much from Santa this year. But since you’re asking, I’d love the ‘Zumba Fitness‘ videogame, as I’m having such fun with ‘Just Dance!’ and have managed to get a bit of a workout at the same time. Also, on Dick’s recommendation, I’d love the ‘X-Men Arcade‘ game for XBox. I’m embarrassed to think how many quarters I invested in that arcade game. It would be good to see if I still have mad Wolverine slasher skills.

Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)

My actual Christmas list is heavy on TV-on-Blu-ray sets that I missed out on this fall, and those are about the only home theater-centric things on there. I don’t like having a backlog of unwatched stuff, and with so many of those hefty season sets being released within a few weeks of each other, I kind of have to pick and choose. If I were scribbling down a list now, though, I know for sure what I’d put on there. Yesterday marked the dark day where I’ve completely run out of media shelving. Not only are my dozens upon dozens of individual shelves all full up with a couple thousand DVDs, HD DVDs, and Blu-ray discs, but I don’t even have room to add more shelves. Sure, sure… I could free up space by ditching some of the dreck I know I’ll never watch again, like that review copy of ‘Manilow Live!‘, but more than likely, I’m gonna need to swap out some of my existing shelves with something bigger and better. If anyone in the family’s reading this and feels like getting me… oh, something like this), I’ll send you a really nice card or something. Promise!

Josh Zyber

Much like Adam, I’m running out of storage space in my home theater. My shelves are overflowing with DVDs and Blu-rays. Some of them are actually stacked two rows deep with discs. One particular unit has a bunch of discs wedged into the backside underneath my projector and facing the wall behind. Locating and pulling out a movie I want to watch is becoming a chore. However, unlike Adam, I don’t want to add any more or larger shelves to the room.

Quite a while back, I moved most of my DVD collection out of their original cases and into Discsox sleeves. What’s nice about Discsox (and makes them better than most storage sleeves or binders) is that they’re designed to allow you to keep the original case art intact with the appropriate disc. Even though the company also makes sleeves the appropriate size for high-def discs and artwork, I’ve resisted moving my HD DVDs and Blu-rays into them for some reason. Pride, mostly. I wanted people to see and respect my collection.

Well, the time has come to admit that I’m in desperate need of consolidating all these discs into a much smaller area. For Christmas, I would love to receive a whole mess o’ Discsox sleeves with the plastic trays (10″ deep) to hold them. Hint. Hint.

Mrs. Z

Since I live with Josh, I definitely do not have any home theater needs. And, unlike my husband, I generally prefer very low-tech gifts like yarn, fabric and vintage Vera Neumann scarves. But this year, there’s one tech gift on my list – an assortment of lenses for my camera phone from Photojojo. These relatively inexpensive lenses ($40 for a set of wide angle, macro and fisheye lenses) attach to your camera phone via a detachable magnetic ring. I don’t claim to be a great photographer, but I do enjoy taking pictures. And since my phone is usually within reach, it’s become my go-to camera. It would be fun to kick up its basic capabilities a notch with these lenses.

Nate Boss

I’m not going to be “that guy,” the one who makes a cop-out excuse to not answer this particular question, even though my most pressing need this year just got taken care of when I replaced my Onkyo TX-SR606 (which started acting buggier than Jeff Goldblum in a Cronenberg film) with a new Pioneer receiver (one that I’m going to have to memorize the model number for all over again). Amazingly, I don’t even have any Blu-ray needs, since, unlike every other home theater gear purchase I’ve made, I didn’t finance the Pioneer by selling off a part of my home video collection. So…what do I really want for Christmas that doesn’t involve the suffering of a select few? A new gaming chair or recliner. I wrecked my previous chair in record time. (Less than half a year. What can I say? I crash more than I sit!) I fear I may begin to resemble a bean bag chair if I dare use one for more than a month. Real riveting and exciting stuff, huh, folks?

Aaron Peck

Most people complain about getting me gifts, because they know I love movies, but I have a job that affords me the opportunity to see and get all the movies that I love. True, there are some movies I don’t get to review that I have to go out and buy. But that’s just it, I buy them. Which in turn infuriates the people buying me gifts even more. It’s a vicious cycle. I find myself purposefully not buying movies, just so my family members will have something to get me come Christmastime. The Blu-rays I tend to stay away from are the humung-o complete collector’s edition sets. They always seem to be way more than I’m willing to spend, so naturally I’d love it if other people bought them for me. The top of my “I want it, but I’d never buy it” list is the ‘Lost: Complete Collection‘. It’s something I’d never buy for myself, but if someone gave it to me, I’d be thrilled.

Mike Attebery

I want the condo next door. We’ve lived in 635 square feet of space for the past three and a half years. While I don’t mind the limited space or the narrow floor plan, it does make it hard to have a TV of any remarkable size since there aren’t too many options for changing the layout of the living room without having the couch right on top of the TV. The owner of the place next door moved out of the country two years ago, rented the unit for one year, then walked away from it in the fall of 2009. It has sat empty ever since. This fall, the bank foreclosed on the condo, and it is currently for sale at a cut rate price that really bugs me. (We’re talking about a government backed program that is selling the place for less than 2/3 it’s current value!) It really pains me. (I want it. I want it BAD!).

Since the available unit is so cheap, I know it’s gonna go fast, which is a shame since it’s the mirror image of our own place, and could be combined with Casa de Attebery over the course of a weekend by removing one wall. That would instantly give us a nice big living room (not to mention two extras bedrooms and a spare bath), with the perfect layout for one hell of a home theater. I lie awake at night working out the specifics of how to remove the wall, where to add doorways to connect the kitchens, how to do all the finish work quickly but with plenty of style. Alas, it is not to be. I just don’t make the kind of money necessary to get my hands on the key. Any day now, I’m gonna hear movers bringing the new tenants’ belongings into the condo next door, and when I do, I will weep bitter tears. That place should be mine.

Drew Taylor

Considering what I really want for Christmas will send me into a maudlin and sentimental spiral that positively no one would ever, ever want to hear, I’ll go with something else. What I want for Christmas is that time-turner necklace that Hermione wears in the third ‘Harry Potter’ book/film, ‘Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban‘. If you don’t recall, it was something that, if you twisted it, could disrupt the time-space continuum, causing a number of ripples that only Richard Kelly could properly suss out. It let Hermione take a number of classes at the same time (NERD ALERT). But I would use mine for the ability to get all of my work done – I’d be able to read and write and see as many movies as I possibly could.

This Christmas wish will be read by two of my constantly-peeved, exceedingly generous editors. They’re probably thinking that they would chip in to develop the proper technology, or send away to Hogwarts for a patent application. This Christmas wish is also a really great example of what a square I am. When given the gift of time travel (or at least temporal disruption), I would use it to get more work done, not spy on sexy ladies like in the Nicholson Baker masterpiece/novel ‘The Fermata‘ or rob banks like in ‘Jumper‘. Nope. I’d be sitting at my computer, doing my work, listening to the Pointer Sisters’ greatest hits collection. It’d be automatic.

Your Turn

OK folks, now’s your chance to drop that last-minute hint to friends and loved ones about what you’d like them to get you for Christmas. Tell us all about it in the comments below.


    • Nate Boss

      One that I snapped in half from sitting in it so hard that the back piece would get thrust out of place. I never used it for sound or hooked it up, I just liked the angle it was at. My last gaming chair was my Xmas 2009 gift. Go figure, right?

      Model #, no clue. it wasn’t a primo model, as I know my gift giver has a very limited budget. it’s the thought.

  1. Andy

    I suppose I would really like a Logitech Harmony universal remote. I have put off getting one for so long, but my remotes are truly getting out of control. TV, DirecTV, AV Receiver, HD-DVD, Blu-ray player, PS3, CD Player.

    It’s ridiculous. I don’t know why I have held on to the notion of liking to control each of them with their original remote for so long, but I feel like it’s time to make the plunch into Logitech Harmony country.


    Will you please get me one for Christmas?

  2. I have gotten into a bad habbit of buying what I want, which infuriates people. Kinda like Aaron – I have purposely NOT bought stuff so that people can get me stuff for Christmas. Sad thing is, I kinda know what I am getting.

    Like Josh and Adam, I JUST ran out of shelf space. Like, litterally, this week, when my package from DVD2Blu arrived (I had forgotten what I had ordered, that was like 2 months ago). I have been saying for MONTHS that I want another shelf. They are like $20 at Wal-Mart. However, my roommate, in her resourcefullness, found this UGLY display shelf with no back along the side of the road, painted it black to try to match the good stuff I own, and setup my overflow of movies on it. It looks AWFUL! Sad thing is, she probably spent $15 on the spray paint as it required several coats. And she just does not seem to believe me that it looks awful “It looks just the same as your other shelves”. Yeah,not even close! I swear, if I don’t get new shelves for Christmas, I am going out in January, buying me new shelves, and using her shelves for what they should have been used for in the first place – firewood! I guarentee her shelves will NOT be in the living room at the end of next month!

    Now, for the WISH list.

    First, I am serious need of electrical work. I actually had an electrical fire earlier this week as I had too many devices in my home theater device on the same plug. I had an electrician come out and test it, and luckily I just burnt up a power strip, but as of right now, I now have a heavy-duty extension cord ran across the room to another outlet on another circuit to power a surge protector to remove some of the load off my current strip. The wiring in the house is also OLD, and a few years ago, removing an overhead light and putting in a ceiling fan, it put so much a load on that line that it burnt up and hasn’t worked since. And the whole house is just on two circuits – front half of the house on a 20 amp and back half on a 15 amp. So I am in serious need of some work. My current plans are to get this done around February or March, but it sure would be nice if someone would do it for me.

    My biggest Christmas wish? Someone to take care of some bills for me, or give me a big bonus. I was laid off from November 2008 through July 2009, and am just now almost caught up on stuff, but that time of unemployment ran up credit card bills, ruined my credit score, and caused me to get behind on several stuff. This year has all been about getting caught up – and now, I am loosing two weeks pay for the holidays as I am contracting. So if someone would like to make my car payment, insurance, and my student loans for the month, I would be immensely happy. 🙂 But, I doubt that will happen, so I will probably be behind on bills until I get caught up next month.

    That leads to another Christmas wish. My contract is up at the end of January. The place wants to keep me on, but there are like new laws or something that says you can only contract for 18 months, and then the company has to hire you on or let you go. There have been some changes with the company that has taken place over the last several months which means all hiring is on hold. So, it looks like I need a new job.

    Back to practical stuff, though, I need clothes. I seem to buy everything I want, but always tend to neglect clothes! I finally went out last week and bought three pairs of new jeans after I ripped 4 pairs within two weeks and was holding them together with duct tape. People were wondering why I was walking around at the office with untucked shirts. 🙁 I finally bit the bullet and went to Penny’s last week, and bought three new pair that were on sale. But I do seriously need clothes for Christmas. I don’t know what my problem is – I have no problem plucking down $100 a week on new Blu-Ray releases, but I can’t spend $50 for clothes. I think its just because I am a guy and DETEST clothes shopping. However, it really was not that bad – as I went by myself, I was able to go in, find my size and style, try it on, and get out – all in 20 minutes. I think I just have these horror things in my mind from when I was little going shopping with my mom and spending 3 hours at Mervins trying on clothes.

  3. i know it’s been out for a while but i would love the planet of the apes on blu ray. i recently got back into the movies and would love to have them on blu. also all James bond movies on blu , even the bad ones so i can say i have a blu octopussy.

  4. besch64

    A couple of Criterion BDs that people picked up for me during the last Barnes and Noble sale.

    Some Green Bay Packers pint glasses.

    Nothing else, really. I’m a simple man.

  5. Lahrs

    Last year, my family and I decided not to exchange any gifts. We realized that we were getting so stressed about buying gifts with money we didn’t have, that we stopped. We had a great stress free dinner with family and bought only a few things for my daughter, as she should still get the Christmas experience. We are doing the same thing this year.

    The only thing I asked for for Christmas this year was I asked my mother-in-law to mail a box of lemon bars from a bakery close by their place. That is it, just some lemon bars.

  6. Mike

    Discsox for BDs are GREAT! See the square footage of our place as mentioned above. I’ve now put thousands of DVDs in binders with their artwork and all of my Blu-rays in Discsox. Gave us an entire room back.

  7. EM

    A greedy SOB, I maintain an Amazon.com wish list that currently contains 84 different gift ideas. It’s not so much greed as a desire to give my prospective gift-givers flexibility—uh, really!!

    Some HT-related items from that list:
    • Blu-ray discs of movies I wish to add to my video library for the first time: “Toy Story 3” (an instant classic) and “Play Time” (which I should have added in DVD format years ago…).
    • Blu-ray upgrades of movies already in my video library: “Fantasia”/“Fantasia 2000”, “Forbidden Planet”, and more.
    • TV on DVD: “Max Headroom” and more episodes of the original “Dark Shadows”.
    • DVD upgrade of an earlier DVD: the cult sci-fi/comedy classic “Dark Star”, now anamorphic with new special features!
    • Video glasses for HT on the go: you know, those spectacles with the twin video screens right in front of your eyes.
    • Audio CDs: a wide variety, including a few movie and TV music soundtracks.
    • Books about “Star Wars”: J.W. Rinzler’s books about the making of the original “Star Wars” and “The Empire Strikes Back”, plus the same author’s “The Sounds of Star Wars” (includes sound-effect samples), and a really neat die-cut board book called “Millennium Falcon: A 3-D Owner’s Guide” with cross-section views of that spaceship’s innards.

    On another Bonus View page I recently discussed wanting a replacement for my old VCR. I haven’t picked out a particular machine just yet; even if I had, it’d be a little late now to add it to my wish list for Christmas. But maybe I can get it on in time for my birthday a couple of months from now…

    Most of the non-HT items on my list are books—quite frequently the comic-book kind (Hulk pop-up! “Peanuts” strips! ’70s Marvel horror in black and white! “The Far Side”! etc.), though there are others too.

    Of course, I won’t get everything. I may not be given any of these things. I can always treat myself later…

  8. BostonMA

    Paramount to release Once Upon a Time in the West on Blu, Sony to release Taxi Driver on
    Blu, Universal to release Vertigo on Blu and Criterion to release AK’s The Hidden Fortress and Throne of Blood as well as The Passion of Joan of Arc, on Blu.

    oh and David Lynch’s films, damn near all of them, released on Blu in the U.S.

  9. I wound up not adding any more shelves, reshuffled everything around, and purged a couple hundred DVDs from my collection.

    My old DVD shelves have a much higher capacity than what I was using to hold my Blu-ray discs and HD DVDs…enough to last me another year, maybe.

    Of course, I had to give up some of my DVDs in the process. Is there part of me that frowns at the idea of tossing things like American Outlaws, Beneath Loch Ness, The Big Hit, or three volumes of Weird U.S. that I’ll never, ever watch again? Kind of.

    My original plan was to throw out some of my old shelves and replace them with something with a higher capacity (and I guess I can still do that), but this purging-slash-reshuffling seems to make sense short-term.